Hamlet: by the numbers

Hamlet

So here’s the numerical breakdown…

  • 3728 total lines; longest of all plays and thus longer than the average (play: 2768; tragedy: 2936)
  • No scene is the shortest of its kind in the Canon
  • Act Two, Scene Two is the longest of its kind in the Canon (544 lines)
  • Act One: 852 lines; longer than average (play: 582; tragedy: 659)
  • Act Two: 663 lines; much longer than average (play: 567, tragedy: 606)
  • Act Three: 895 lines; longest of all plays, and thus much longer than average (play: 576; tragedy: 644)
  • Act Four: 643 lines; longer than average (play: 560, tragedy: 547); longest of the tragedies
  • Act Five: 675 lines; longer than average (play: 484, tragedy: 478)
  • 1030 lines of prose (27.33% of total lines, which is about average of plays: 26.32%; more than average in tragedy: 16.44%]); compare with The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%, 1HenryVI: 0.37%, 2HenryVI: 16.64%, 3HenryVI: 0.14%, Richard III: 2.89%, Love’s Labor’s Lost: 35.08%, The Two Gentlemen of Verona: 26.81%, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 19.75%, Romeo and Juliet: 14.18%, King John: 0.0%, The Merchant of Venice: 21.79%, Richard II: 0%, 1HenryIV: 44.7%, 2HenryIV: 50.36%, HenryV: 40.89%, Merry Wives: 88.20%, As You Like It: 56.12%, Much Ado: 77.78%, Caesar: 7.47%, and Twelfth: 64.44%)
  • 183 rhyming lines (4.91% of total lines, which is lower than average [play: 8.35%; tragedy: 5.09%]; compare with Comedy: 20.10%, Titus: 2.42%, Taming: 3.93%, 1HenryVI: 9.79%, 2HenryVI: 3.16%, 3HenryVI: 5.37%, Richard III: 7.55%, LLL: 40.86%, 2Gents: 35.08%, Midsummer: 43.5%, Romeo: 16.61%, King John: 6.19%, Merchant: 5.16%, Richard II: 18.95%, 1HenryIV: 1.04%, 2HenryIV: 2.32%, HenryV: 1.80%, Merry Wives: 3.79%, As You Like It: 10.87%, and Much Ado: 2.43%, Caesar: 0.41%, and Twelfth: 6.09%)
  • 20 scenes; about average for plays (21); less than average tragedy (24)
  • 34 characters; about average for plays: 36; less than average tragedy: 39)

Check out our “by the numbers” breakdown as an infographic!

Twelfth Night: By the Numbers (jpeg; thumbnail)

[download the pdf (4 Mb)]

Also, the below graphic gives a representation of which characters appear in what scenes in the play.

Hamlet: breakdown of which characters appear in what scenes
Hamlet: breakdown of which characters appear in what scenes

 

2 Replies to “Hamlet: by the numbers”

  1. When you say that Hamlet 2.2 is the longest of its kind in the Canon, are you referring to the English Canon, or just among Shakespeare’s plays? Thank you for your work on this!

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